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Teens and STDs

Page history last edited by Naug 13 years, 8 months ago

What are STDs?

STD stands for Sexually Transmitted Disease (sometimes called Sexually Transmitted Infection). This is an infection which can be caught by having sexual contact with someone who is infected. This can be vaginal, oral or anal sex, although other types of touching can pass some STDs - for example, some STDs (such as Herpes and HPV) can be caught by touching the infected areas of someone's body and then touching your own genitals (private parts). There are quite a lot of different STDs. We have more information about the different STDs and HIV and AIDS.


Aren't STDs only a problem for older people who sleep around?

No. In fact, some STDs like chlamydia and gonorrhea are actually more common among teens than among older men and women. And you don't have to sleep around to get an STD, although it can increase your chances of having sex with someone with an STD.


I think I've got an STD! What should I do?

"Someone I've slept with says they have an STD. . ." "I've got some strange symptoms. . ."


Most of the symptoms of STDs can be found either on the genitals or in and around the mouth. Our STD pages will give you more information about symptoms.


If you think you have an STD you should have a test and get treatment. Untreated STDs can be dangerous - if you don't get help, you may not be able to have children later in life, or it can increase your risk of cancer. You may also pass it on to your partner.


Who can I talk to?

It may help you to talk to an adult - perhaps a parent, school nurse or teacher may be able to advise you where you can have an STD test. Or you could ask your family doctor about STD testing. There are details of helplines and testing centres on our help and advice page. It's much better to talk to someone than to worry on your own.


I'm too shy to go to a clinic for an STD test!

Don't worry. The doctors and nurses who work there are professionals and they do this all the time.


Will they tell my parents?

Most (but not all) clinics have a confidentiality policy, and will not tell anyone, although some places will want you to bring a parent to give consent. You can phone the clinic before you go and find out.


What will they do?

If you think that you may already have passed on the infection to someone else, it is important that you tell them so that they can have a test, too.


They may take a urine sample, a blood sample or a swab from the vagina or penis. Not all STD testing requires you to have a physical examination, and you might not even have to undress. Ask what they are testing for - it may be a good idea to be tested for everything, if you can. Some places can give you the results on the same day, in other places you may have to wait for a week or more. While you wait, you shouldn't have sexual contact with anyone.


If you find that you do have an STD, it's important that you don't pass on the infection to anyone else. Don't have sexual contact with anyone until you have been treated and are no longer infectious.


If you think that you may already have passed on the infection to someone else, it is important that you tell them so that they can have a test, too. If the clinic gives you antibiotics or medication, make sure that you follow the instructions and complete the course of treatment - otherwise the STD may come back.


So how can I protect myself?

Using condoms during vaginal, oral and anal sex will help to protect you, (see our condoms page). You could also use a female condom (although you shouldn't use both male and female condoms together). However, some STDs (such as oral herpes) can be transmitted in other ways, such as kissing. You shouldn't have sexual contact with anyone who has visible sores or genital rashes.


You can only catch an STD by having sexual contact with someone else who already has an STD. This means that someone who does not have an STD can't infect you, and you can't infect yourself by masturbation.


How can I tell if someone has an STD?

You can't. Some people with STDs may have symptoms that you can see, but many people have no symptoms at all. Someone could have an STD and have no symptoms for months or even years, but still be infectious. Using condoms correctly will reduce your risk of infection. 


As you can see from this article, condoms are not a "sure thing" in protecting yourself, ONLY ABSTINENCE.  

How could you start the conversation about STD's or STI's with your partner? Is there any part of this article that you agree with or disagree with?


Comments (30)

wikiuser0156 said

at 12:03 pm on Mar 7, 2012

I personally think there is only one way and one way only to talk to your partner about STD's or STI's. And that way is to be right up front about it. This to me is the only full proof solution to ultimately talking about this with your partner before its to late. Because to me, if your comfortable enough with your partner or spouse to have sex, then you should be plenty comfortable to have an adult conversation about getting tested for STD's. As far as the article goes, one of the things i agree with is letting the person that you think you passed the desease onto know that they could have it. Because the fact of the matter is.. they deserve to know!

wikiuser0127 said

at 12:37 pm on Mar 7, 2012

In order to start a conversation with your partner about STD's or STI's is to first be the one to say something and take charge of protecting yourself. Both you and your partner should not be afraid to share past sexual experiences in order to make sure that they do not have a STD or STI. Also telling the truth is very crucial and make sure you trust your partner

wikiuser0136 said

at 1:32 pm on Mar 7, 2012

When in a true and honest relationship, you have to be true and honest with the other person. We all should be able to just talk about it with them and be comfortable while doing it. Everyone should be in a relationship where you feel comfortable with the other person. If just starting a new relationship, It might be awkward at first but its better than risking getting an STD or STI. right? You cant tell if they have an STD so i agree with using condoms and being safe/ smart about all situations. And if you think that you have one or that you passed one on, see a doctor and then inform your past and present relationships.

wikiuser0140 said

at 1:32 pm on Mar 7, 2012

Askbefore getting involved to protect yourslef from being infected with an STD or STI. Obviously, its not a casual topic but when things become more intimate then it would be an appropriate time to ask. Overall, i don't really disagree with anything that the article talks about, it's relativly informative.

wikiuser0180 said

at 3:48 pm on Mar 7, 2012

Talking about STD's or STI's is usually uncomfortable, but when it comes to your partner you have to be upfront and start the conversation. Because if either of you have an STD then the other deserves to know so they can get treatment. As for the article there really isn't anything that I disagree with, I ecspecially agree with testing yourself if you even have the slightest thought of having an STD.

wikiuser0174 said

at 11:32 pm on Mar 7, 2012

The way to have a conversation with your partner about STD's and STI's is to be completely thorough and honest. Don't hold back any feelings all though it may be hard to do so, you need to stay strong. Inform your partner about tests that can be done and make sure that you do not lie.

wikiuser0142 said

at 8:47 am on Mar 8, 2012

If you are in a good relationship and you trust your partner then bringing up a conversations about STDs should be no problem. I personally would just ask right up front. I think that this article is very informative and I agree with it.

wikiuser0155 said

at 4:57 pm on Mar 8, 2012

You should just be straight forward and ask your partner if they have any stds or stis. If it is a new relationship, it may be a little awkward, but it's a conversation that needs to happen if they plan oh having sex. It was a very informative article.

wikiuser0130 said

at 5:54 pm on Mar 8, 2012

in a serious relationship a couple should have a talk about who they have been with and any serious conditions it came with. it is not a fun conversation but to be safe it is one that should be had. the article is very informative.

wikiuser0122 said

at 11:04 pm on Mar 8, 2012

I would break it down to my partner that we have to be open about their sexual relationships and if condoms were used or not. I would then start talking about how we should protect ourselves, how condoms can prevent a lot of serious complications in the future. If my partner is sure that they don't have any STD's or STI's, I would still recommend we use protection to be safe. I agree with the article and how people who think they have an STD should contact a clinic and get tested there. I think it's important that the article mentioned that getting tested for an STD early on when you think you have one is better than just waiting or even not getting tested. It is important to know so you can warn your partners and have them tested as well.

wikiuser0164 said

at 6:34 am on Mar 9, 2012

if you want to talk to your partner parent or anyone you can bring it up by asking how many other people besides you or before they started seeing you have they been with ask bout thease people and sometimes just by the names you will know if these boys or girls get around or don't you should always make sure your clean before you point fingers so mane just say i went and got tested just to be safe because i wouldn't want to do anything to hurt you do you think maybe you could do the same just so we know . just to be safe and hopefully your partner will agree go get cheeked you

wikiuser0132 said

at 10:08 am on Mar 9, 2012

If youi want to speak to your partner about having protected sex i think you shuold just flat out say it. There's nothing to be shy or embarassed about. If you guys are really in a erlationship than you should have to be able to talk to eachother about anything no matter what it may concern or who it may concern. I agree with the whole article. I think everything they said makes complete sense.

wikiuser0179 said

at 10:55 am on Mar 9, 2012

You have to just come out with it and talk to your partner as soon as you can to avoid any problems. This may be an awkward conversation buy you need to do this to be the safest that you can be. If you are unsure you should go get tested. And if you havent't been tested go get tested. There is only so many things you can do before haveing this conversation.

wikiuser0135 said

at 10:56 am on Mar 9, 2012

If you have to speak with your partner if you have an STD it shouldn't be in the heat of the moment. You should talk to them before starting anything sexual so they can think with a clear mind. You have to be sure he/she really does like you because then maybe they won't care. I agree with everything that was said in this article.

wikiuser0138 said

at 2:40 pm on Mar 9, 2012

I would flat out ask if tehy have STD's or STI's before I become sexually invilved with someone. And if anything that person would be happy you said something, because that means you're careful and you're not just fooling around or sleeping with just anyone. Yes it might be tricky to say it at first but you're going to have to say it eventually, so you might as well just get it over wth. I agree with everything that the article says and teens should defintiely be reading it so they know what to do in the future if they get an STD/STI.

wikiuser0137 said

at 4:13 pm on Mar 9, 2012

The only way I can think of bringing up std's and sti's is to be plain and simple about it, aka talk about it. I wouldn't have any sort of intimacy with someone that I don't feel comfortable enough to talk to,

wikiuser0154 said

at 6:32 pm on Mar 9, 2012

I fully agree with wiki user 0156. They only way to talk to your partner about STD's and STI's is to be up front and make it known that you are fully concerned about both of your health and safety. It is a very touchy subject but, you should feel comfortable enough to discuss this to your partner.

wikiuser0162 said

at 7:37 pm on Mar 9, 2012

The only way to tell your partner about an STD is to tell them that you think you might have one and they need to be tested. That's the easiest and most straight forward way to do it. I agree with going to a confidential clinic if you are scared to tell your parents because that way you still get the treatment you need and won't be as scared to come right out and tell your parents.

wikiuser0157 said

at 10:11 pm on Mar 9, 2012

i agree with this article and i completly agree with wikiuser0162 that you should just say it stright up and not try and dance around the subject because it may be a bit touchy of a subject to talk about with someone.

wikiuser0123 said

at 10:32 pm on Mar 9, 2012

No matter how you look at it, talking to your partner about STDs and STIs is difficult, but the best way to do it is to be honest and tell them straight without beating around the bush. I think that it needs to be a serious discussion and you need to tell your partner to be tested as well as yourself. I agree with the article when it says that you need to contact the people you think you may have passed an STD or STI to

wikiuser0145 said

at 10:39 pm on Mar 9, 2012

Well to start such a conversation, I would put on my serious face and try to be more like I am scared for their sake more than I am mine in case I passed it on. I agree that if you might have passed on the STD, you should tell your partner immediately because you could have potentially ruined their life and it is wrong to do that to someone and have them find out when it is too late to do something about it.

wikiuser0134 said

at 10:48 pm on Mar 9, 2012

The only way in my opinion is to just flat out say it. Be blunt, one way or another they will find out, and as long as you are honest the pain will be less, not that there will not be any. However you must confess and be completely honest, I myself thought I might have had something, so I told my partner and we stayed abstinent until a doctor took a look and told me that it was a genetic thing. I felt it was much better to just be out in the open just to be "safe than sorry."

wikiuser0146 said

at 11:43 pm on Mar 9, 2012

to bring up the subject of STDs abd STIs is to be striaght forward because if a person makes it akward for his or her partner, they can probably think that you have it or he or she is hidding it from them. If your blunt with it then i feel that th sistuation would turn out better. You always have to communication with your partner know matter how hard the subject is. I agree with this article be i know some stories that condoms dont always work. Letting your partner know is the write thing to do.

wikiuser0124 said

at 11:44 pm on Mar 9, 2012

A main component in a good relationship is having the ability to be frank with one another. As mentioned in one of the above posts, talking about a subject like STDs should be no problem with a trusted partner. Everything mentioned in the article I agree with.

wikiuser0125 said

at 11:59 pm on Mar 9, 2012

Of course starting a conversation about STDs is not an easy topic to start a conversation about. I believe that if your in that situation and you know the person you are with, they should understand you because it is involving your partner and yourself. An STD is an embarrassing topic but another persons health is at stake so you should respect that. I do agree with this article but every one has a way of doing their own thing. Eventually everything comes out from the hidden and the person will find out

wikiuser0141 said

at 1:59 pm on Mar 10, 2012

Talking about STDs with parents can be an awkward thing to do. I would start the conversation by asking them about their experiences with STDs when they were my age. I definitely agree with the article that the only way to prevent STDs is to be abstinent. As humans though, we have the instinct to breed and extend our genes to future generations, we just have to be more careful about our actions as it will also affect the future.

wikiuser0160 said

at 2:50 pm on Mar 10, 2012

The only way to talk about STD's is to be upfront about it. STD's can be a very scary thing so you have to be able to talk about it with your partner before it is too late. One thing that i agree with is that if you think you may have an STD, you must tell a previous partner about it. Just like in the previous article, a lot of STD's dont even have symptoms so that person may have no idea that they have one. The bottom line is that your partner deserves to know if you have or may have an STD.

wikiuser0175 said

at 6:47 pm on Mar 10, 2012

i think the only way you can start to talk about std's or sti's is to just come out and say it.i think its only fair to talk about them, you wouldnt want to keep your partner in the dark when it comes to these types of situations.

wikiuser0121 said

at 1:21 pm on Mar 11, 2012

I think the conversation about STDs can only occur if you are upfront and press the issue. Not many couples talk about the topic without a catalyst. I agree with most of the attitudes being described in the questions. They are realistic in addressing that people are going to be discrete and shy about the topic, and the answers to these questions are logical and address the issue at hand.

Naug said

at 11:01 am on Mar 13, 2012

thank you.

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